Monday, October 31, 2005

Shortening Days

I am probably the only person who thinks fall is the worst time of the year. Guys usually love fall. Lots of girls do too.

They way I see it, at least in winter (yuk) , you can think , in the back of your mind, that Spring is next--right around the corner--so there is some hope. But during Fall, what lies ahead....nothing but Winter--the worst of all--plus I really do believe that I have the decreasing day length depression syndrome.

Lots of plants do. That is exactly what triggers many plants to go into their dormant stage, or change growth patterns.
So maybe I should order this : Light Therapy Visor
It is pretty pricey, so I am looking into maybe making one. I found some interesting info about light and mood and mentions of certain real controled experiements--but on a web page with a Jimi Hendrix background.
This site tells of things to watch out for when attempting to make your own light for raising your spirits.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

UTSI Glider Event Named After Miller

From a press release sent to me by Richard Gulley at Univ. of Tenn Space Institute last weekend.
Oct 20, 2005



TULLAHOMA, Tenn. B Four gliders sailing in the blue Tullahoma skies –

including a two-seater that carried several spectators aloft Thursday – was a “perfect prelude to one of the Space Institute’s most cherished traditions,” said Dr. John E. Caruthers.

Caruthers, University of Tennessee associate vice president and chief operating officer of UTSI, thanked Dr. Gary A. Flandro, himself a glider pilot, for “inviting his friends and associates to join us for this Miller Wilder Glider Event.”

Flandro, who holds UTSI’s Boling Chair of Excellence in Space Propulsion, flew his own glider for the show before delivering the 28th Quick-Goethert Lecture in the Institute’s auditorium a few hours later.

One of those hitching a ride with Dr. Peter Solies in the Institute’s glider was Professor Wolfgang Alles, Flight Dynamics Chair at the Technical University of Aachen – in town for the lecture. Solies, an associate professor in Aviations Systems, also founded the Institute’s Soaring Club and its chief flight instructor.

Richard W. (Dick) Butler of Manchester, a graduate of UTSI and a world glider champion, flew his glider for the two-hour event, named in honor of Miller Wilder, a UTSI student killed in a glider accident in Arizona in June 2004.

Lending a hand to students and other handlers readying the gliders for flight was Gerhard Waibel, sailplane designer for the Schleicher glider manufacturer in Germany, and Mrs. Waibel. Winfried Goethert, a son of the late B.H. Goethert, first director of the Space Institute, drove the tow truck for the UTSI aircraft. Daniel Banuti, an Aachen exchange student visiting UTSI accompanied a host of Institute students in assisting the pilots.

Dr. Gary Flandro shows Tina Rice, a graduate research assistant at UTSI, controls in his glider – one of four featured in a fly-in. –UTSI Photo
Professor Wolfgang Alles from Aachen, front, settles in for a ride

In UTSI’s glider, piloted by Dr. Peter Allies, in rear. –UTSI Photo

Chatting with Gerhard Waibel and his wife, left, are Dr. John Caruthers and Dr. Gary Flandro, during the Glider “fly-in” at Tullahoma Airport Thursday. –UTSI Photo

Great Corny Idea

Brett Herbst, a Brigham Young University agribusiness graduate who grew up on an Idaho farm,got the idea from a similar venture he had read about in a farming magazine. Brett's original labyrinth in American Fork, Utah was the largest corn maze created in the western United States. It drew 18,000 people in only three weeks during the fall of '96. Ten years later, The MAiZE has grown into the world's largest cornfield maze company. Now - 840+ mazes since its founding, a Guinness record and five countries later this guy has a nifty, creative business.
In 2005 his company MAiZE was responsible for 165+ mazes in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Unfortunately, due to the affects of Hurricane Katrina, the Maize near us, at Lucedale, Mississippi , near the Alabama / MS line on Tanner Williams Road is currently closed. There are seven in Tennessee, one at the Agricenter, and a fancy one near Rock City.

A quick look at the U.S. map shows that there are corm field mazes you can visit all over the country. Many have their own webpages and all arrange school field trips, etc...See the fun MAiZE website for tons of great info.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lego Cameras That Work

When Adrian Hanft isn't art directing at Huebner Petersen in Loveland, Colo., he's at home building cameras out of Legos. And they work! With film-advance knobs that turn, built-in film counters, and viewfinders, these image arrestors are hardly toys. He even creates working shutter systems by rigging ballpoint pens to old floppy discs. Click the pen once; the shutter opens. Click it again and it closes. Be sure to check out his latest creation: a medium-format Pinhole Camera.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sunny & Dry

Only one rainy day since Katrina's landfall way back on Aug 29th. Above is the forcast for today and the rest of the week. It has been like this for 2 months. Only difference has been that the temp dropped about 15 degrees all of a sudden a few days ago. Pretty dry around here. Glorious days though.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Email has been around longer than you realized

Guess what just turned 34?

10/21/2005 03:19:00 PM
Posted by Paul Buchheit, Gmail Engineer in his blog on Gmail

It's difficult to pin down the exact origin of email, but in October 1971, an engineer named Ray Tomlinson chose the '@' symbol for email addresses and wrote software to send the first network email.

Electric Chairs - Photo Gallery

In the 2nd half of the 20th Century hanging was the accepted method of executing those found guilty of committing a capitol crime. The exception was Utah where the condemned were given the choice of the gallows or a firing squad. The convicts overwhelmingly chose the bullet over the rope.

The rope didn't always work out too well---

In 1886 a New York State Legislature Commission was established to study humane methods of capitol punishment. 1888, the New York Legislature passed a law establishing electrocution as the state's method of execution. Realize that the Edison Light Bulb was invented only 9 years earlier. This was definitely new technology.

Alabama's elecrtic chair, "Yellow Mama", seems to be the only yellow U.S. Elecrtic Chair. It was painted with surplus paint from the Highway Dept which had a testing facility adjacent to Kilby Prison in Montgomery. It was used for 153 elecrtocutions between 1927 and 1965.
You can see and read about the elecrtic chairs of our nation.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Kentucky lands grant to protect bingo halls from terrorists-

this should help protect us for sure:

Kentucky has been awarded a federal Homeland Security grant aimed at keeping terrorists from using charitable gaming to raise money. The state Office of Charitable Gaming won the $36,300 grant. The idea is to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash. Great idea--huh ?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lower Your Blood Pressure...

...and maybe get a few other health benefits. At least I'm gonna try. I got this electronic bio-feedback gizmo from my doc that re-trains you to breathe more deeply and much more slowly. Called Resperate.
(That is 'desperate' with a "R")

You put the little blue sensor around your chest, headphones on your ears, and press start for an aprox 15 min session. You are suppose to do this at least 2 or 3 times a week. The thing actually has FDA approval for reducing blood pressure after a bunch of medical studies proved it could. Cost seems to be about $300. Mine is on loan.

One website I saw describes how it works in this way:

InterCure has patented a fundamental method for manipulating biological rhythmic patterns (e.g., respiration, movements of small blood vessels, peristaltic gastrointestinal movements, etc.) using external rhythmic patterns (e.g., sound, light, pressure etc.).

Together with additional proprietary technologies, the Company has developed the "Interactive Respiratory Pacing" technology platform, which guides the user to perform breathing exercises tailored to treat a particular cardiovascular or pulmonary disease state and dynamically adapts to each user's individual respiration pattern.

Using RESPeRATE's interactive breathing exercise for just 15 minutes, 3-4 times per week, delivers a significant all-day blood pressure reduction. It won the Frost & Sullivan's awards, where InterCure, Inc. received the 2005 Hypertension Treatment Technology Innovation of the Year Award for its RESPeRATE system.

Official RESPeRATE website here w/ lots more info.

I'll report on it's effectiveness--that is if I can remember to actually take my BP before and after. He has me using it for post-hurricane rental-property damage over-whelmness and paperwork impared-ness !

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Creative Halloween Costumes

Tired of the same old off-the-rack costumes? Want to get inspired to create something wonderful for next to nothing? One fellow named Rob Cockerham has documented for years his zany costume construction in step by step photos and clear instructions. He has won some way cool prizes at parties too.

I loved reading about the construction of the photo flashing Paparazzi Costume--using discarded disposable camera cases that he takes apart and re-wires to flash in unison. It was a winner. You can see the costumes of others at the parties he went to.

Rob has also made some fun things that are not costumes, but just plain fun sculptures. Just look around the site. Many of his creations are made from light weight unsightly foam signs from get rich quick schemes that he gathers off of utility poles. As a result, he has a whole page of letters he has received from people who were ripped off by these schemes.

Another whole aspect of his creativity is to determine how much is inside. This includes things like Sharpie pens--how many CDs can be labeled with one Sharpie. See what all he has to go thru to find this out.

Bet you have never seen a banana skin vest before. He had some trouble finding an adhesive to hold the banana skins to the fabric....but you can read all about it....

There is a lot on this site if you dig around, the links are not always that obvious--but if you ever wondered about Burning Man, Rob attended in 2001 and tells us all about his experiences w/ photos. In fact, he made the big silver wings for Burning Man originally.

He has some travel photos and advice too--Costa Rica

I love this guy's projects and wish he'd have been on our Odyssey of the Mind teams ! Maybe he is an OM alumni.

See his whole menu of fascinating offerings on the HOME page

Friday, October 21, 2005

WebmasterWorld & Viking Cats

I never would have expected it. Never. WebmasterWorld site has been down for a couple days now....and on top of that it happened right at the beginning of a Google shuffle of search results indexing. For webby types, called SERPS. Anyway, The owner of WebmasterWorld managed to shuffle a bare framework of the WMW forums over to another site as best as possible till things can be repaired upline where the problem occured. He couldn't put a link or anything up--so it was interesting to see who found the alternate site and how quickly and so forth.

I think this is an example of a type of problem where the usefullness of blogs and engines that search and index blogs can be really the solution.

By searching, I found the temp. alternate site in no time from people discussing it in other forums and blogs.

Going to the alt. WMW site and finding it off the air was sorta like going to the class that was moved across the campus and no note was on the door but somehow the clever people were finding the class.

For anyone who is interested in reading how an important site like that made and run by the very people who tell others how to never get in a situation like this--go to the alt site

Now, this second or third day of being down, Brett was finally able to put a functional plain text page on the WMW site to link them to the alt site--but he also put a link to this clever little movie. Turn sound on !
Be sure to watch it to the end. Start the Movie
Have Fun. Lundy

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Google Map App Defines Zip Codes

Now you can view zip code outlines on Google maps thanks to one soul's creative application at

This is really handy for certain things.

On this screenshot of my zip code you will notice the horizontal line thru the middle, sorta. Well, that is the Intercoastal Waterway--guess they are just telling us that the Post Office is not going to deliver mail to passing barges.

You can even add more than one outline to a map, like in a city where zip code areas are small cause people live densely. The app will just continue to outline the zip code areas as you type them in.

And if you are the type of person who enjoyes research and such--have a look at
Good gosh can use this site as a porta for Street Names by ZIP, Canadian Addresses, Labor Statistics by ZIP code, get the monthly home sales and selling price by ZIP Code, get information about all public schools by name, city, state or district, find the closest Post Offices to a ZIP Code that accept bulk mail, get the number of fatal vehicle accidents and related information by state and county, and a whole bunch of other fascinating data.....see just how wicked people really are in your least favorite city, or how much it would cost you to move to Hilton Head.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival T-Shirt

Bro Stephen agreed to serve as T-Shirt (and hat) model !!
He will probably be receiving calls from Modeling Agencies this week after this is published.
I needed photos for where we sell the 'Offical Shrimp Festival' merchandise after the event. I need to get an list of what is left today tho--I don't want to offer stuff that we sold out of.

Shrimp Festival Draws Big Crowds

Fabulous weather, not a cloud in the sky all four days...

Friday, October 14, 2005

More Shrimp Fest Photos

Blogger seems to be replacing one photo with another, so I am putting these in seperate posts.

Shrimp Festival Weekend

With fabulous weather here on the Gulf Coast, a big crowd showed up for the first day of Shrimp Festival. This was great, since gas prices, Katrina, Ivan, and all the other recent events looked like maybe SF might be the party that no one came to.